NEWBERRY — The City of Newberry recently unveiled some renovations at Gallman Park, formerly known as McSwain Park until 2014.
“It really is a nice area to read a book or walk a trail,” said Newberry parks and recreation director Scott Sawyer. “It’s certainly better than it was.”
The updated park boasts new basketball courts and picnic shelter as well as renovated restrooms.
The parking area also received a facelift with a crushed-shell covering, although Sawyer said it may be paved at some point in the future.
Originally named for the adjoining street the park’s name was changed two years ago to honor the noted Newberry educator Dr. Ulysses S. Gallman.
“In honor of service to the cause of better education and better schools and for his inspiration, leadership and services to humanity, Gallman High School was named in his honor in the 1950’s and Gallman Elementary carries his name today,” said Mayor Foster Senn at the unveiling.
Gallman was born in 1885 and went on to study at South Carolina State College as well as the Hampton and Tuskegee institutes.
He attended special seminars for educators at Atlanta University, Clarke College and Dillard University.
Gallman spent 44 years over the former half of the 20th century as the county supervisor for African American schools and during his tenure the first Rosenwald Schools were constructed in Newberry County.
The Rosenwald Schools were financed under a matching grant fund established by Sears and Roebuck president Julius Rosenwald.
Between 1917 and 1932 over 5,000 Rosenwald Schools were constructed in the South — nearly 500 in South Carolina.
“At a time when State support for educating African American children was woefully inadequate, Rosenwald Schools played a critical role in educating South Carolina’s children,” reads information published by the State Historic Preservation Office.
Gallman also served as the area supervisor for the Jeanes Foundation, a national philanthropy dedicated to improving the education system for African-American students, in addition to serving for many years as president of the National Jeanes Teachers Association as well as on the executive committee of the Palmetto Teachers Association.
He was awarded the degree of Doctor of Pedagogy in 1955 by Morris College and died in 1971.
Reach Carson Lambert at 803-276-0625, ext. 1868, or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.